A YOUNG drug dealer was given a last chance to turn his life around by a judge who warned him not to waste the opportunity.

Jack Martin, 20, from Gilwern, Abergavenny, was handed a suspended custodial sentence after he admitted trafficking cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

He also pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking after he crashed a stolen Vauxhall Astra into a Honda Jazz and Mercedes GLA in Pontypool.

The £7,000 Astra was written off after it landed on its roof and the £18,000 Mercedes was “close to being written off” last December.


Cardiff Crown Court heard how Martin was sent to a young offender institution for 18 months in relation to offences committed in connection with that incident.

He admitted burglary, two counts of attempted burglary, theft and breaching a restraining order and had only just been charged with aggravated burglary.

Christopher Evans, prosecuting, said Martin’s drugs offences were committed between July 2018 and November 2019.

The defendant, formerly of Blaenavon, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

He has 17 previous convictions for 49 offences with 24 being for theft-related matters.

Ieuan Bennett, mitigating, said his client was working with the Vision of Hope with Animal Assisted Therapies charity in Monmouthshire where he had made good progress.

His barrister added: “The defendant was adopted and the relationship with his adopted parents broke down.

“He became homeless and fell in with the wrong crowd and started drinking and taking drugs.

“He has put drink and drugs behind him and wants to lead an honest life.”

Judge David Wynn Morgan told Martin he was going to suspend his custodial sentence: “I am going to take an unusual course. This has gone on far too long.

"You are only 20. This may be an opportunity for you to turn a corner.”

“I am going to give you another chance.

"Be on your best behaviour. Don’t spurn this opportunity.”

The judge sent Martin to a young offender institution for two years, suspended for two years.

He also ordered him to pay a £140 victim surcharge.